Hi everyone. Ever feel the need to kind of back off from something you really love doing? Like, you know… take a break from it? A mini vacation? Is it wrong for me to want to give the BrandBuilder blog a little time to breathe?

No worries. I’ll snap out of it in a few days. 🙂

I’m sitting here on my couch watching a rerun of HBO’s 90-minute montage of interviews of the last surviving members of the 101’s Airborne Division’s 506’th Regiment’s Easy Company. The guys whose exploits during WWII inspired the book that the Band of Brothers miniseries was based on, and frankly. I’m sitting here listening to these guys talk about their experiences during the war, and it makes me wonder about all the hooplah lately about Marketing and WOMM and customer-generated-content and social media.

It makes me wonder about the importance of certain things over others.

It makes me wonder about direction and momentum and change.

It makes me wonder about the roles that character, courage and integrity play in our daily lives. In business. In everything. It makes me wonder why so many people are so quick to throw all three by the wayside whenever they feel threatened, when that’s exactly the time they should hold on to them.

It also makes me wonder why I have been so lucky to always find myself in the presence of men and women who do just that on a daily basis. Maybe it’s because I look for them. Maybe it’s because I can’t be completely happy unless I know I am working for the best – or with the best. Or maybe it’s because I have a hard time relating to anyone who doesn’t have a little wild streak in them. The kind that breaks barriers and paves the way for new ideas. New markets. New products. New businesses.

The world of business is always divided between two types of people: Those who easily compromise, and those who don’t. Those who lie or cheat and those who don’t. Those who are paralyzed by fear, and those who aren’t. Those who are happy with routine, and those who aren’t. Those who never ask the hard questions, and those who do. The list goes on… But the question is this: Which one are you? And how many of your co-workers fall into the first category or the second?

I spend countless hours every day meeting with both kinds. The Americans, and the American’ts. The guys in suits who use business-speak as a facade, and the guys in jeans who actually do something with their day. The guys who name-drop every chance they get but that no one remembers, and the ones who never brag about anything but get enthusiastic recommendations from their peers. The charlatans and the real deals. The cowards and the heroes. The people you absolutely don’t ever want to have to work with, and the people you wish you could work with for the rest of your life.

All I have to say is this: Choose your colleagues wisely. Choose your clients and business partners and employees wisely. Choose your bosses wisely. Choose your friends wisely. Be picky.

Be very picky. It’ll pay off in the end.

The first kind wll burn you or hold you back. The second kind will help you accomplish great things, even in spite of yourself.

It’s okay to be picky. It’s a sign of intelligence. 😉

PS – On a related note, it’s official: I just got invited to join the Hincapie Sportswear Triathlon team for the 2007 season. They’re the kinds of people I like to be associated with, so it’s sort of a-propos. I just hope I don’t let them down. I’ll just have to make sure I don’t.

Booyah. Have a great Tuesday, everyone.